A new well preserved fossil find suggests that feathered dinosaurs may have been quite common.
Palaeontologists have been identifying an increasing number of feathered dinosaur species in recent years. The discovery of a 150-million-year-old theropod in Germany covered in a thick plumage is now helping to cement the view that feathers were likely to be far more prevalent than previously thought. Finding fossils showing feather coverage is difficult however as their preservation requires very specific conditions.
"We need more examples in both non-coelurosaurian theropods, and particularly in the other big dinosaur groups, before we can really speculate that these features are a character of dinosaurs as a whole," said Palaeontologist Paul Barrett.
"Feathers didn’t start with birds. Plumage of various sorts - from simple fuzz to the complex structures used for flight - adorned dinosaurs first, and was only later inherited by birds."
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